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CEOs got a raise. Seniors and veterans deserve one too.

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From flickr.com/photos/34389013@N06/22310517099/: Social Security benefits
Social Security benefits
(Image by Senator Mark Warner)
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Three weeks ago, the Social Security Administration made a quiet announcement.

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Next year, for just the third time since 1975, seniors who receive Social Security won't be getting an annual cost of living increase. Neither will millions of other Americans whose veterans' benefits, disability benefits, and other monthly payments are pegged to Social Security.

Two-thirds of retirees depend on Social Security to pay for the basics, to put food on the table and keep a roof over their heads -- but seniors who usually get a small boost on January 1st won't see an extra dime next year. That's why today, I'm introducing the Seniors and Veterans Emergency (SAVE) Benefits Act -- a one-time payment equivalent to a Social Security benefits increase of 3.9%.

Help us show Congress that America's seniors and veterans need a boost on January 1st. Sign up right now to show your support for the SAVE Benefits Act.

Why give seniors and veterans a 3.9% Social Security boost? Well, times are tough for America's seniors -- but they aren't tough for everyone. According to recent data, CEOs at the top 350 American companies received, on average, a 3.9% pay increase last year.

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But here's the kicker: taxpayers like you subsidize huge pay packages for CEOs through billions of dollars in giveaways, including a crazy loophole that allows corporations to write off obscene executive bonuses as a business expense for "performance pay."

Our new SAVE Benefits Act would give seniors and veterans a benefits boost without adding a single penny to the deficit simply by closing that performance pay loophole. In fact, closing that tax loophole would create enough revenue to give seniors and vets this 3.9% emergency boost and still have money left over for the Social Security Trust Fund to help extend the life of Social Security.

Think about what this change would mean. A one-time 3.9% Social Security payment is worth about $581 a person next year -- a little less than $50 a month. For someone barely scraping by on a $1,250 Social Security check each month, $581 would cover almost three months of groceries, or a year's worth of out-of-pocket costs for a Medicare beneficiary's prescription drugs. According to an analysis, that little boost could lift more than 1 million Americans out of poverty. That's a big deal.

This is about choices. We have the money to do this -- only right now that money goes to fund a loophole that benefits corporate CEOs. We could use exactly that same money to help out seniors and vets -- and make the Social Security system more stable. For me, it's pretty straightforward: Our spending should reflect our values.

So let's just do it. Let's close the loophole and let's use the money to give seniors and vets the support they need on January 1st. Sign up now to show Congress that America supports the SAVE Benefits Act.

I've got a strong, tough, determined group of fighters by my side for the SAVE Benefits Act: Ed Markey, Barbara Mikulski, Patty Murray, Chuck Schumer, Bill Nelson, Debbie Stabenow, Maria Cantwell, Bernie Sanders, Sherrod Brown, Bob Casey, Sheldon Whitehouse, Jeff Merkley, Kirsten Gillibrand, Al Franken, Dick Blumenthal, Chris Murphy, Mazie Hirono, and Tammy Baldwin.

Join us now to help give seniors and veterans the boost they need on January 1st.

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Elizabeth Warren was assistant to the president and a special adviser to the Treasury secretary on the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. She single-handedly set us this bureau, putting in place the building blocks for an agency that will (more...)
 

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